Tagged: scotland

Experiments and reflections on digital media community exploration

As someone with a huge passion for  exploring my local environment and digging into the history and architecture of an area, and ways of presenting this creatively I am rather taken by a project which I found on Twitter called “Walk My World”, the invention of William O’Byrne who is based in Newhaven, USA.  The idea is that you carry out a journey, once a week, and then record and share that using various digital media tools (he suggests Twitter, Vine and Instagram and produces a handy guide for newcomers to these on his site).  There’s still an opportunity to take part if you wish… join in!

I personally have not used Instagram much as until fairly recently I didn’t have a phone with a very good camera (it was quite a low resolution), preferring to play with my SLR, but since I got a new phone in November I have been playing with the many free and low cost apps which allow you to snap, shoot and share your view of the world.  The Walk My World project seemed a good time to try out Instagram.. so I took a wander around Govanhill in Glasgow.

A wonderful multi-lingual community cafe, in an Evangelical church hall, which asks for only donations for breakfast:

Multi lingual coffee

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Said free/ donation breakfast (which was lovely, as were all the people in the pop up cafe):

#walkmyworld coffee stop!

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Library exhibition on wartime experiences:

library exhibit on wartime life and stories #walkmyworld

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The library history exhibition, including a little alcove devoted to R D Laing, an influential psychiatrist born in the area:

The many languages of Govanhill:

Some of the many languages of Govanhill #walkmyworld

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International peace garden:

International peace garden #walkmyworld

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Community baths (I had visited these at Doors Open Day before):

United we swim, community trust wellbeing centre including baths refurbishment #walkmyworld

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Wonderful tenements, a Glasgow architectural icon:

I love tenements, even in the rain they are beautiful #walkmyworld

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I discovered a lot about the area, even from this short walk!  I had not created a video in Instagram before, and also played with the tagging and mapping functions.  I know Instagram is not exactly “new news” but it is funny how sometimes we need a reason to play with new stuff.  I also learnt that embedding Instagram posts in WordPress only needs the URL, not the embed code.  I like to learn through play, and this sort of project is “right up my street”, thanks William!

I completely agree with the comment in William’s blog post that educators should create an online brand for themselves (thinking before they share), I am quite aware of my “digital footprint” and in some ways my background may appear somewhat diverse (town planning, conservation, education, creative media) but I am lucky enough to be able to combine all of these through the various strands of my professional work (on reflection, I am needing to revisit my own website to better represent this; although I was very happy with it when I created it at the time and I have gradually added content such as my “Are You Here” project exploring family history links and the environment of Bristol and Brighton, my professional practice has evolved to represent a variety of skills).

As well as undertaking freelance illustration and digital interpretation projects in arts and heritage, and volunteering my time for Planning Aid Scotland, in my other professional persona I am currently working as Educational Co-ordinator at the University of the West of Scotland, on the Digital Commonwealth project.  This is a project which is designed to help marginalised communities (such as those who live in areas of socio-economic deprivation) develop digital media literacy skills using readily available technology and tools.  The project is framed around the digital reporting of Queen’s Baton Relay for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, with projects based around the topics of people, place, culture and exchange.  I have been really impressed with the creative results of the #walkmyworld project beginning to be shared on Twitter and it made me even more excited about the possible results of planned creative digital media projects which will take place as part of the Digital Commonwealth project!

Here are some of my favourite #Walkmyworld posts so far:

Vine poetry:

Happy Twitter dogs!

  More dogs (but Vine):

The wonders of Islay:

The fabulous benefits of creating enthusiastic online communities!

Happy exploring, creating, learning and sharing!

How to escape a cyberman

One of the most amusing Doors Open Day tours I did was of the BBC Scotland building in Glasgow when there was a Dr. Who contingent in residence. Being within arms length of a cyberman is enough to terrify even the biggest of weans. The building was something we had seen from outside many times, but only seen inside “on the telly”. The tour allowed us to see the famous thinking sheds, the view from the roof and also the stepped steel and stone interior which is sometimes used for interviews. We also learnt that cybermen appear not to be able to look up!.

The azure sea and beautiful white sands of the Outer Hebrides

Today’s unconventional advent calendar is a short in words but rich in imagery; in today’s rather dark and dreich weather I was thinking about the wonderful colours I saw on a happy trip to the Outer Hebrides.  It was a kind birthday gift, and a rare treat to see the world from an entirely different perspective as  we got to go on one of those tiny wee planes out to Benbecula.  The weather was stunning, we flew over lochs and islands and felt very privileged indeed.
Uist and Harris link

From a cultural planning perspective, I was considering the links between the islands and their shared heritage, but unique identity.

For other calendar entries, have a look at these posts.

British Library Flickr images

I have been browsing the new Flickr resources from the British Library, some wonderful things on there, including this great image of Trongate in Glasgow’s Merchant City.

Have yourself a ScotsGaelic Christmas… unconventional advent calendar December 11th

scoteng

Today’s unconventional adventure calendar is a little bit more seasonal than yesterday, celebrates lovely local museums, and I also have a go at a little bit of Gaelic.

I have been thinking about language and tradition in a cultural planning sense, our traditions and languages affect the culture of the area as stories and songs passed down generations will reflect the history of that area.  Local dialect and local words are something which fascinate me.  The picture above was actually not taken by me, but one of my family, and it is of the Scotland- England border at Berwick-upon-Tweed, a lovely border town which has a curious juxtaposition of Geordie, Northumbrian and Scots  accents.

To learn some seasonal Scots Gaelic, have a look at this Engage for Education site.  For some nice Northumbrian/Berwicker words, have a look at Northumbriana.

For previous unconventional advent calendar entries see this post.

 

Girvan Rocks!

Girvan

Girvan harbour with its bright colours

Girvan is a pretty seaside town in the west coast of Scotland where I spent a happy summer holiday once when I was wee.  I revisited it this summer, and was surprised how much of it I could remember (and was delighted to see that the little aviary and gardens called Knockcushan park were still there).

Knockcushan Park

Knockcushan Park

Knockcushan Park

Knockcushan Park

Knockcushan Park

I did not know of the history of the gardens, this must have passed me by last time as I was looking at the animals and birds when I was ten!  That said, I do attribute my career choices to the fact that I was always taken to historic places and used to enjoy spending time looking at castles and drawing things related to my holidays… if blogs had been about then no doubt the very tattered scrapbook I made would have been digital with scanned copies of tickets.

Daytripper

Daytripper- July, it was hot!

Summer seems so long ago now, with Christmas almost here, so this is a very unconventional advent calendar entry indeed for December 10th although you can consider the character of a place at any time of year!

Girvan has a wonderful view of Ailsa Craig, which is famous for its special seabird colony and also for being used to create curling stones (see gallery above, and for photos of these see my Partick curling club photos) The Glasgow 2014 baton also features a special Ailsa Craig “gemstones” in the puzzle mechanism, an exciting Commonwealth Games link for the area.

To me, Girvan has fantastic seaside memories; parrots in the park, boating pond outings, beach sandcastle building, chips munching, 2p fruit machines (although I think they may have been 1p then?!?), big high street with shops selling buckets and spades and postcards, lovely colourful harbour, seagulls and other birds along the pier wall.. Girvan rocks!

Flavoured rock

Flavoured rock

What do you think makes up the character of your favourite place?

Previous unconventional advent calendar entries can be found here.

Clubs, societies and organisations- people and cultural planning

window with posters

Window in a community cafe with a call for events (Edinburgh, Forest Cafe, Tollcross)

Today’s unconventional advent calendar for 9th December is all about clubs, societies and organisations going on within an area, featuring a notice board in Cove and Kilcreggan in rural Argyll.  Virtually every area will have local clubs and societies for any type of subject, from sports to literary events to music and heritage, long established and part of a bigger organisation or perhaps small and informal and entirely independent.  People are a big part of cultural planning, they are cultural planning assets.  Whenever I go on holiday I tend to gravitate towards the small cafes and end up picking up lots of leaflets to have a nosey at what is on (libraries and parish notice boards are a good source of information too, and tourist information centres).  I have ended up going to fascinating events by serendipity taking a role, happening to be in the right place at the right time and chatting to someone or seeing a stray flyer.  Of course, internet research is good too.. but when you’re a cultural planner on holiday it pays to hang out in lovely little community places, for people watching and good coffee, and pop up events may just be coming your way.   Bike tag, anyone? Pop up street food market?  A community choir in a reclaimed warehouse arts space?

Islington Mill

My other unconventional advent calendar entries here.